Our founder, Irma Cedeno, has had the privilege of working with top universities, institutes, Fortune 500 companies and, most importantly, amazing students who are lovers of culture and language from an array of backgrounds.
Here’s what others have to say about Irma…
“Learning a new language is not easy for a busy professional, especially in the city that never sleeps. As an investment banker with a packed schedule, I needed all the help I could get when I decided to learn Spanish. For the first few months I struggled to find the right instructor: someone who was not only able to teach effectively, but could also motivate me.
I was very lucky to begin taking classes with Irma Cedeno, the founder of Diáfano. She brings incredible energy to every lesson that keeps me engaged and eager to learn. She leverages Spanish and Hispanic literature, history, music, film and art to highlight the benefits of strengthening your grasp of the language. So while I first started learning Spanish to vacation in South & Central America, I now realize that Spanish unlocks the door to a vivid and exciting culture that is all around us right here in New York City.
In a classroom setting, Irma drives learning and engagement through interesting and impactful group discussions. She is able to sense the needs of each student to make sure no one person either falls behind or dominates the class. She breaks lessons down into a variety of activities to achieve simultaneous progress on different concepts and grammatical structures.
In an individual setting, Irma maximizes my development by carefully planning classes to address my unique needs. She combines her solid professional knowledge and training with a creative approach that leads to unparalleled results. Most importantly, she makes learning Spanish fun, which makes you more likely to persevere and achieve your goals. In that sense, she has become more like a coach than an instructor.
I’m somewhat conflicted in recommending Irma to others wanting to learn Spanish; the more people know about her skills, the more difficult it will be for me to schedule lessons with her. Therefore, if you are reading this, consider yourself lucky, and don’t hesitate to contact her so you can also accelerate your learning today.”
–Sid Lahiri, Vice President, Investment Banker, J.P. Morgan
“I cannot recommend Irma, and her company Diáfano, more highly for Spanish language study. She takes the time to understand exactly what the student needs not just in diagnosing learning style and level, but also how to adapt it to the student’s lifestyle and professional demands creating a personalized program of study. As a true linguist, her expertise is exceptional. However, she is also the consummate professional as well: prepared, communicative, and always on schedule. It has been a blessing to work with Irma and a fantastic investment.”
–Vanessa Barboni, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley
“Learning a language is one of the most rewarding adventures anyone can embark upon, especially with the right instructor. There are challenges in this process that are unique to each student and Irma, founder of Diáfano, has an incredible ability to help each person navigate those challenges to come out stronger at the other end. She’s very perceptive and encourages, pushes and nurtures her students to realize their potential as Spanish speakers.
In the past I’ve made several starts at learning Spanish but the conventional teaching methods of those experiences never made the language feel alive and my attempts were short-lived. I feel very fortunate to have discovered Irma and, nearly a year-and-a-half in, I feel engaged, curious, more confident and less shy about speaking and, most importantly, eager to continue until I’m fluent.
I’ve taken both group and individual classes with Irma and her method of teaching is so effective because it combines a seemingly endless and creative variety of activities that reinforce different parts of the learning process, solid knowledge of the language, instruction expertly tailored to the individual and infectious enthusiasm. Add to this her natural kindness and humor and you’ve got a safe place to make mistakes, learn, laugh and grow to love the language. I can’t recommend Irma and Diáfano highly enough!”
–Donald Murphy, Design Director, AllianceBernstein
“Irma is without doubt the leader in what she does; she has the extraordinary ability to connect with the student, understand individual needs, develop the right plan and deliver results. Her genuine focus on excellence coupled with her extensive expertise guarantee success. She is certainly the best teacher I’ve ever had. She is a full-blown professional and a top expert in the language learning and communications field. Not only has she developed innovative and effective techniques tailored to individual needs and background, her unique, one-does-not-fit-all approach, and her exceptional dedication set her apart. Her background in education and academia, combined with her extensive exposure to Latin America and Spain have resulted in a deep understanding of their cross-cultural values, and a step-by-step, results-driven methodology that fulfills the promise it makes: to learn the language fast, and retain it. Irma has successfully helped organizations in their globalization efforts by creating courses that bridge the gap between language learning and cultural competence, therefore connecting businesses to their Spanish-speaking clientele, and creating a smooth transition for companies whose employees are traveling or moving abroad. In my case, for example, I do not have time to study Spanish outside of class, but Irma makes every session challenging, fun, informative, and effective enough for me to feel confident regardless.
Whether private or in a group setting, lessons with Irma are a great investment for both corporations and individuals.”
–Confidential, Partner, Ernst & Young
“Irma is such an excellent teacher. I had such a wonderful experience with her. Her enthusiasm and positivity are contagious! As an instructor she not only presents the content in a logical and approachable manner but also expands upon it by engaging the class in new and creative ways. Multi-modal experiences such as movement or listening to music enhanced the class and encouraged camaraderie amongst the students. Our assignments were practical, yet fun, and any struggles were always met with patience, persistence, and a smile. I would love to have her as an instructor once again. Highly recommend!”
–Leah High, Public Services Librarian, Thomas J. Watson and Nolen Libraries, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Irma has helped me take my Spanish speaking abilities to the next level. I have taken years of Spanish in small classes but I never had the ability to speak enough, or anyone to actively correct my mistakes. I felt I wasn’t really improving anymore. With Irma, she actively corrects me and makes me speak almost the entire class. She will tailor the class to whatever your specific needs are. We have developed a program that works for me: conversation, grammar, reading literature, and preparing for DELE. We maximize our hour together so that whatever I can do at home doesn’t need to be done during class.”
–Christina Ronac, CFA, Senior Vice President, HSBC Global Asset Management (USA) Inc.
“If you want to know how they teach royals, or sheiks, or what high class learning means, take classes with Irma Cedeno, the founder of Diáfano. If you want feasible results in real time, take classes with Irma. If you value your time, and believe every moment of your life is precious, take classes with Irma. It is the best investment of your energy, time, and finances.
Irma has the highest professional qualifications, solid knowledge in didactics, methodology, and classroom dynamics. She skillfully implements the best American and European practices in foreign language acquisition. Beyond the technical aspects, she has a beautiful gift of designing activities that are effective, time-efficient, and fun.
She perfectly manages the most intellectually demanding and culturally diverse groups of students. Proper fundamental training, her master’s from New York University, and more than a decade of teaching in the US and abroad make her absolutely stand out. Having tried classes with other teachers and schools, I can say Irma is the only right choice.
As a result of my classes with Irma, in less than a year I’ve become a confident Spanish speaker (from scratch) in both business setting and beyond. I will continue with Irma in the years to come because learning Spanish keeps my brain active, and individual lessons with Irma have boosted my self-esteem and enhanced my self-worth. I feel more relevant.
The ancient wisdom goes: First, we fall in love with the teacher’s personality. Second, we grow to love the subject. And only after that we learn with joy and feel fulfilled. A combination of thorough professional training, years of experience and an outstanding personality distinguishes Irma as a truly gifted educator, a rare treasure of our time.”
–Elena Oro, Office of an Immigration Attorney, Translator; M.A. Ed., Coach, Author
“Irma is a great instructor with a high level of patience and a unique ability to keep classes lively and fun. I took weekly classes with her for a few months and was impressed with her commitment. She was very meticulous and had a clear lesson plan while also having a lot of flexibility where needed to cover specific topics when asked. She had a very strong knowledge base of both English and Spanish which made it easy to learn from her.”
–Mehnt Bhatia, Fixed Income & Commodities, Morgan Stanley
“It has been my good fortune to be a student of Irma Cedeno’s. I have taken Spanish classes from others in the past but often have been challenged by conventional learning approaches. That all changed when studying with Irma. As a native speaker she has a great passion for the language and Latin cultures. She is a seasoned professional with great experience and can apply different learning strategies based on her understanding of how each student best learns. She uses a variety of approaches with stories and games that puts students at ease, lowering their inhibitions and making the experience fun.”
–Dr. Robert A. Cook, Wildlife Veterinarian
“When I walked in to Irma’s classroom one day unannounced, it was clear that she had already cultivated excellent relationships with the students. Their comfort level and readiness to learn was visibly evident. This comes by striking the right balance of approaching language learning as both play and work or playful work. Stories, games and students relaxed enough to share both their struggles and their successes in mastering a new language are all part of building an effective language learning community. Irma’s general enthusiasm, immensely likable personality and vast repertoire of teaching techniques tailored to individual need was what every language supervisor hopes for. If Howard Gardner, the formulator of multiple intelligence theory, would observe Irma teaching, he would be duly impressed with how she utilizes her own interpersonal intelligence to engage students through a variety of educational modes including logical sequencing, music and movement. Wish I could have kept her as an instructor for a much longer time!”
–Dr. Ralph Peters, Chair of Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Berkeley College
“I’ve taken private as well as group classes with Irma and would have to say she’s one of the best teachers I’ve had, hands down. Lessons are presented in a clear, organized manner, but Irma’s teaching methods are hardly cookie-cutter. She brings a mix of thoughtfulness, creativity and playfulness to every class, using a range of learning techniques to engage students—even when the challenges of mastering a new language seem insurmountable.”
–Nissrine Habash, Copywriter, Victoria’s Secret
“I have been very lucky to have Irma Cedeno as my teacher. I was a bit worried that it would be hard to have the energy for three hours of Spanish at the end of a long work week, but I had nothing to worry about. Irma made the class so much fun, and I was looking forward to going to class every week. She has a lot of energy and a great positive attitude. The class never got boring, Irma always tried new approaches, anything from conversations between classmates to presentations, games and music. In the end it was like going to a friend’s house with the benefit of learning Spanish at the same time. I just finished the beginner level but I feel confident enough to travel to Spanish-speaking countries and be able to ask for directions, order in a restaurant, go shopping, and converse, all while using the language skills I learned in class. I would recommend Irma to anyone who wants to learn Spanish.”
–Christian Jansson, Financial Controller, The Mark Hotel
“Irma brings creativity and passion to teaching Spanish. Whether teaching a beginner, intermediate or advanced student, she adjusts her instructions accordingly. By incorporating various topics such as news of the day, culture, history, travel and much more, her language classes are compelling thus students avoid missing a class. It’s obvious she puts much time and effort into lesson preparation. The class is conversational and grammar/language skills are presented in Spanish to reinforce language comprehension. Whether one is studying Spanish for business, travel or just to learn a language, Irma switches gears to meet the need of the student. I’ve studied Spanish previously but always hit a roadblock at the intermediate level. Irma strongly encouraged me to continue, to go beyond my previous level and challenge myself. I did and am pleased at how much my Spanish skills improved. A specific example of Irma’s creativity: she taught me the subjunctive verb by listening to Celia Cruz, a famous Cuban singer. Cruz’s music is about sentiment and mood, the condition in which one would use the subjunctive. I now know the subjunctive very well! If your goal it to learn to speak, read and comprehend Spanish, I strongly recommend Irma as your language instructor.”
–Confidential, retired NBC News Director
“Irma Cedeno, the founder of Diáfano, is an excellent profesora, and I am so glad that I sought out a series of private Spanish lessons with her. Creative, intelligent, patient, and kind are all adjectives I’d use to describe Irma. Most of all, she is a skilled teacher who gives structured but fun lessons; I was quite pleased with my progress over the course of five weeks. An almost-fluent speaker in my university days, I have been working my way back to competency in Spanish after several decades away. I wanted to concentrate specifically on my reading, comprehension, and pronunciation, and I needed the attention to detail that private lessons provide. The set of language-learning tools I learned from Irma gave me a great boost of confidence. As a volunteer reader in several elementary-school classes, I get a big kick out of being able to share books with Spanish words and phrases with children whose families come from Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and, well, everywhere! One day recently, without even really thinking about it, I was rolling the “r” in the title of a book I was was going to read, and one first grader turned to his friend and said excitedly, “This book is going to be about something Spanish! I can tell.” Thanks to positive feedback like that, I plan to continue my lessons with Profesora Irma!”
–Susan Thomsen, Former New Yorker Editorial Staff Member, Writer, and Literacy Volunteer
“Irma is an extraordinary Spanish teacher! Her warm, upbeat personality is welcoming and supportive, and she is endlessly patient. As a result, students feel safe taking the risks involved in learning another language. Irma’s belief in her students’ abilities inspires our confidence. It is obvious that Irma is passionate about teaching. Whether teaching one-on-one or in a classroom, her lessons are thoughtful, creative, engaging, and tailored to the specific needs of her students. Beyond learning the Spanish language, classroom work includes opportunities to learn about Spanish culture by discussing books, newspaper articles, magazine articles, playing games, and reading song lyrics and then watching the related music video. Time in her class flies by!”
–Camille Ehrenberg, Teacher, The Dalton School
“I attended a small class, with students of varying levels. Irma made it challenging and fun for everyone, and was able to get us all to participate right away. Her keen intelligence, imagination, and sparkly personality made it one of the most inspiring Spanish classes I’ve ever attended.”
–Laura Hoffmann, NYC